Sunday December 8, 2013
World Ignores Genocide of Sri Lanka's Tamil Population (Includes Channel 4 Documentary Links in Comments)Tim King Salem-News.com
Oh My God! - State-sponsored Terrorism against minority population. Warning- photos beyond graphic.
(SALEM, Ore.) - (Note, also read this article that was published 08 Jun 2012: Captive, Handcuffed and Dying... 'Brutal' and 'Shocking' Describe Newly Released Sri Lanka War Crime Images)
The spirit of the world's fragile populace is broken and failing to respond the right way to the most dire problems.
The terrible problems taking place in Palestine, which we write about frequently, are just one part of a torturous puzzle of bad intent born from human greed that spans parts of the Middle east.
This is especially easy to believe when examining the genocidal deaths of more than 300,000 Tamil men, women and children, estimated to have been killed or disappeared.
In 2009 alone, more than 35,000 Tamils are estimated to have violently or needlessly lost their lives. Because of the fear and desperation put forth by this, about 1.1 Million Tamils have fled the country.
The numbers are horrible, and include over 600,000 Tamil internal refugees (Internally displaced or evicted). And while this has taken place, more than 20,000 Tamil children have been orphaned and denied the possibility of living a normal life with their families.
And along with this, more than 35,000 Tamil widows.
World Without Focus
The world stares with curiosity at TV screens that play meaningless programs that insult real life and ignore human struggle. They may show brave Libyan Revolutionaries wage war with their totalitarian government; yet little is said when top-level peace activists are slaughtered like sacrificial lambs in Gaza.
In the same manner, the poor Tamil people of Sri Lanka are bludgeoned and slaughtered without world attention.
Like the image on the right of a Tamil woman lying dead on the wreckage of her motorcycle, or the child hanging by her neck, we see what the worst of Hollywood's horror films could never begin to emulate, because it is real.
This is nothing humankind should ever witness, though without question, must.
Do we even have a right to ignore it?
There are many brave activists hard at work in this world, people who unquestionably inspire me with their sense of humanity, and they would say the only thing ignoring it achieves, is its continuance.
Somewhere along the way, American news networks decided they really weren't responsible for monitoring the world, often choosing to rely on government news releases and other often worthless forms of communication that are always structured to promote image and reduce liability.
Sri Lanka's violence took place in indescribable ways and while the government makes all of its claims against this minority population and its bands of freedom fighters, the images of the resulting toll on human flesh and life that Sri Lanka's military forces left behind for cameras to record, are more than heinous, they brutally defy the senses.
No acts committed by the bands of fighters hailing from this population could justify these actions.
And for the record, there are images that are worse than these, that I chose not to include.
According to Wikipedia: Sri Lanka became an independent nation in 1948. Since independence, the political relationship between Sinhalese and Sri Lankan Tamil community has been strained. Sri Lanka has been unable to contain its ethnic violence as it escalated from sporadic terrorism to mob violence, and finally to civil war. The Sri Lankan Civil War has several underlying causes: the ways in which modern ethnic identities have been made and remade since the colonial period, rhetorical wars over archaeological sites and place name etymologies, and the political use of the national past. The civil war has resulted in the death of over 70,000 people and, according to human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch, the forced disappearance of thousands of others (see: White van abductions in Sri Lanka). Since 1983, Sri Lanka has also witnessed massive civilian displacements of more than a million people, with eighty percent of them being Sri Lankan Tamils.
According to reports and testimony sent to our newsroom from Sri Lanka, another twisted aspect of this persecution involves forced starvation, which laps at the heels of human depravity in its worst, most torturous form.
All of these behaviors from the government are illegal under numerous clauses in the United Nations Human Rights Declaration.
Of course after looking at the photographs accompanying this story, you may conclude that those who suffer and die from a lack of food, who should be the worst off in any place at any time, are not necessarily the worst off here.
And beyond the starvation and death, the rampant slaughter of men, women and children; there are also allegations of horrific conditions inside of what could only be described as concentration camps.
Our source in Sri Lanka explains how thousands of families (including infants) were and in many cases still are being kept behind barbed wire fenced internment camps operated by Sri Lankan Military.
This practice initially took place in the month following the aftermath of the war.
"Half a million Tamils kept under military rule in Jaffna peninsula (Northern Sri Lanka) that had been described as an open prison."
We are told thousands are still in custody – detained Guantanamo style- without trial, suffering widespread abuses.
This is taking place as an economic embargo imposed on traditional Tamil areas has remained in effect for more than two decades.
The embargo impacts supplies of food, medicine, fuel, electricity and other essential items controlled by the military.
In truth, what are economic embargoes- if not just another form of war?
Amnesty International said on 12 April 2011 that a UN report on accountability for war crimes committed in the Sri Lankan armed conflict must be made public. A panel of experts had submitted their findings to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
“Sri Lankans must be allowed to see the panel’s findings. The report concerns a critical period in their recent history and they deserve to read it in full,” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Director.
“Ban Ki-moon said that ‘accountability is an essential foundation for durable peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka’. He must stick to his word - accounting for violations committed in the recent conflict is the first step to future reconciliation”.
The UN Panel of Experts was appointed in June 2010 to advise the Secretary General on accountability issues as they relate to violations of international human rights and humanitarian law alleged in the final stages of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka, which ended in May 2009.
The panel was also asked to recommend a course of action that would ensure accountability, in line with a joint commitment made by President Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka and Ban Ki-moon on his visit to Sri Lanka in May 2009.
Amnesty International called on the UN to launch an independent international investigation into alleged crimes, including the killing of more than 10,000 civilians; the LTTE’s use of civilians as human shields and conscription of child soldiers; Sri Lankan army shelling of areas densely populated by civilians; and severe deprivation of food, water and medical care for people trapped by fighting.
Of course Israel has an established history of always claiming 'human shields' when caught in heavy attacks in civilian populations by the United Nations. The numbers also vary greatly from what our sources report, and that too is highly typical when examining allegations of state sponsored terrorism.
Sri Lanka Denies Charges
And as if right on cue, the government of Sri Lankan protested the appointment of a UN Panel, claiming that it was “uncalled for and unwarranted” and ultimately refused to fully cooperate.
This underscores three clear points;
According to Wikipedia, The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam: (தமிழீழ விடுதலைப் புலிகள்), commonly known as the LTTE or the Tamil Tigers, was a separatist organization formerly based in northern Sri Lanka.
Founded in May 1976 by Vellupillai Prabhakaran, the LTTE waged a secessionist campaign with a goal of creating Tamil Eelam, which would have been an independent state in the north and east of Sri Lanka for Eelam Tamils, who are native to Sri Lanka, and also for Tamils of Indian origin.
This goal of separation evolved into the Sri Lankan Civil War, which ran from 1983 until the LTTE was defeated by the Sri Lankan Military in May 2009.
For decades there have been reports of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam targeting civilians, launched suicide attacks at buses and railway stations, and attacking those who speak out against them, Amnesty International reports.
They're also known for the use of child soldiers.
The same group says the Sri Lankan government forces and their armed affiliates also acted with impunity, engaging in extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and torturing those suspected of links to the LTTE.
“Impunity for violations has been the rule throughout Sri Lanka’s long civil war. The way to turn a new page in the country’s history and restore public confidence is to deliver truth and justice,” said Sam Zarifi.
“The panel’s work on accountability issues in Sri Lanka should mark the beginning, not the end, of a process of accounting for violations.”
Zarifi added, “By publicizing the panel of expert’s report, and moving toward an independent, international accountability mechanism, the UN would send a strong message that international law is relevant, and would reinforce trends of accountability for human rights violations globally.”
That would be good in a world where human rights violations are delivered with illegal weapons on a routine basis, some supplied by the United States, while others are actually supplied and delivered by the United States in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In Sri Lanka the illegal weapons allegations against the government claim the usage of banned weapons - Cluster bombs, white phosphorus, heavy weapon usage (artillery) on densely populated civilian areas, and also the reported use of chemical weapons.
Evidence according to witnesses, includes mass graves and systematic violations of fundamental human rights that to this day, two years after the end of the civil war, have not been investigated.
Perhaps to ensure that no investigations are ever launched, the government of Sri Lanka has banned international media from entering the heavy conflict areas.
Our sources also talk about what could only be described as a systematic destruction of Infrastructure.
This includes military action, like indiscriminate and wanton air attacks on traditional Tamil areas.
This has been taking place for more than 2 decades.
The government of Sri Lanka thus denies hundreds of thousands of citizens a right to their livelihoods and also the chance to attend schools, visit hospitals, enter libraries, temples, churches and houses.
Those are hard conditions for a people who have watched government thugs enter and destroy their villages.
Sri Lanka and Human Rights- on the Radar
Again, the story is highly reminiscent of Palestine, and we media must keep this in our sites and take the research that Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch issues for our use and run with it. Genocide, in the 21st Century; it is a shameful reality that can not be arrested soon enough.
The world needs to be strong and take a solid, united position toward all governments that are responsible for human rights abuse.
Our source said, "Sri Lanka's president and its army don't know what is meant by HUMANITY what they know is kill who ever asks the question, the government is purely running based racist sinhala only motto."
"Their government is made up of LIARS. HUMANS will never forgive Sri Lanka's activity against the HUMANITY."
Sri Lanka is playing a dishonest, evasive game of politics, and our source says the government lies to the whole world when they both started the war, and then said a "Political Solution" will be given to the Tamils.
"But now its almost two years gone after the war still the government is not ready to any political solution . Still they want the Tamils as their slaves. Still more than 600,000 Tamil people are Internal Refugees."
Again, reminiscent of the conflict between Israel and Palestine, in Sri Lanka the army took large amounts of civilian lands for what they designate as 'HIGHLY PROTECTED ZONES' where people are not allowed.
All of a society's typical patterns of life are disrupted by the turmoil. People on both sides died. The conflict is over, at the very least the government of Sri Lanka should live up to promises it made and do what it can to help normalize life for all citizens.
The main industry of the Tamils is agriculture; again like Palestine they can not access the very land they have historically farmed.
Didn't we learn during the Second World War?
I think at least three million Cambodians slaughtered in a genocidal rage that swept through that nation in the 1970's would tell you the world didn't learn a thing.
Not previously noted in this article; it is important to note that the Tamil sovereign state in the pre-colonial era involved disillusioned and marginalised Tamil youths had to fighting; with their hands tied back, unlike either the Jews to regain their lost state of Israel or the Libyans where international assistance was swift.
“… statement that the country had been united for 2,500 years flies in the face of history. There was for some centuries an independent Tamil kingdom and the chronicles report frequent wars between Singhalese and Tamil kings. Separate Singhalese and Tamil communities existed on the island from the pre-colonial era until the administrative unification of the island by the British in 1833.” (Supplement to Professor Virginia Leary Report on a Mission to Sri Lanka 1981-83 published by the ICJ)
Sir Hugh Cleghorn, the First British Colonial Secretary said in his 1799 minutes to His Majesty’s government, three years after it usurped their lands,
“Two different nations, from a very ancient period, have divided between them the possession of the island: the Sinhalese inhabiting the interior in its Southern and Western parts from the river Wallouve to that of Chillow, and the Malabars [another name for Tamils] who possess the Northern and Eastern Districts. These two nations differ entirely in their religions, language and manners'. Ponnambalam, Satchi (1983) Sri Lanka: the national question and the Tamil liberation struggle (London: Zed Books)
Sir.Emerson James Tennent, British colonial secretary of Ceylon 1845- 1850, wrote, “Indigenous Tamil people have lived for more than 2,500 years in the northern and eastern parts of present-day Sri Lanka (north-east), known as the Tamil hereditary area. In pre-colonial days there was the Tamil Kingdom in the north-east (Jaffna) and two Sinhalese kingdoms in the south, called Kotte and Kandy. Drawings and maps from the time of the Greek explorer Ptolemy, and later from the period when the British came to the island, show how the areas of the Tamils and the Sinhalese were recorded separately from antiquity”. Emerson, Tennent J (1859) Ceylon, Volume 2 (London: Longman Press)
Please see this attachment for an extract from a Tamil translation written by a retired deputy surveyor general of Sri Lanka for one such evidence from the Colombo museum, which may have been now destroyed by the Sinhala chauvinists.
When the British supplanted the Portuguese and the Dutch, they annexed the Tamil state to the rest of the island in 1833 by the Colebrooke-Cameron Commission.
Please see attachment 2 of Robert Knox's Map.
You can study Robert Knox's work at this link below
Tim King's previous Salem-News.com reports on Sri Lanka:
Jul-30-2012 Blindness Sweeps Large Parts of Sri Lanka
Jul-20-2012: Why Are Buddhists Committing Genocide Again?
Jul-01-2012: Did a Ghost Crawl Inside My Laptop?
May-07-2012: Sri Lankan Buddhist Mobs Call for Mosque Demolition
Apr-10-2012: Sri Lanka: Genocide and Poor Toilet Training
Mar-18-2012: Is Google Earth Hiding Sri Lanka's Ghosts?
Mar-11-2012: War Crime Court and its Conflicting Interests
Mar-08-2012: Sex Abuse and Murder in Sri Lanka- New Photos Emerge
Feb-28-2012: Tweets from Tamil Eelam
Feb-24-2012: Two of Sri Lanka's Foulest War Crimes
Nov-24-2011: Fear, Genocide and Torture in Sri Lanka
Oct-15-2011: Genocide 101: World and Media Apathy
Oct-05-2011: War and its Aftermath... a Real Killer for Tourism
Oct-01-2011: Sri Lanka in the Crosshairs of Canadian Parliament
Sep-13-2011: Sri Lanka Recalls Diplomat Accused of War Crimes
Jun-20-2011: Sri Lanka's Violence Toward Tamil Minority Continues
Jun-02-2011: UN Experts: Sri Lanka Tamil Genocide Video is Real
May-31-2011: Sri Lanka Tamil Genocide: Killing the Messenger
May-03-2011: Confronting the Tamil Genocide in Sri Lanka
Apr-27-2011: Tamil Genocide in Sri Lanka Emerges Into Public View
Tim King has more than twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. Tim is Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. His background includes covering the war in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007, and reporting from the Iraq war in 2008. Tim is a former U.S. Marine who follows stories of Marines and Marine Veterans; he's covered British Royal Marines and in Iraq, Tim embedded with the same unit he served with in the 1980's.
Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing from traditional mainstream news agencies like The Associated Press and Electronic Media Association; he also holds awards from the National Coalition of Motorcyclists, the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs; and was presented with a 'Good Neighbor Award' for his reporting, by the The Red Cross.
Tim's years as a Human Rights reporter have taken on many dimensions; he has rallied for a long list of cultures and populations and continues to every day, with a strong and direct concentration on the 2009 Genocide of Tamil Hindus and Christians in Sri Lanka. As a result of his long list of reports exposing war crimes against Tamil people, Tim was invited to be the keynote speaker at the FeTNA (Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America) Conference in Baltimore, in July 2012. This is the largest annual gathering of North American Tamils; Tim addressed more than 3000 people and was presented with a traditional Sri Lanka ‘blessed garland’ and a shawl as per the tradition and custom of Tamil Nadu
In a personal capacity, Tim has written 2,026 articles as of March 2012 for Salem-News.com since the new format designed by Matt Lintz was launched in December, 2005. Serving readers with news from all over the globe, Tim's life is literally encircled by the endless news flow published by Salem-News.com, where more than 100 writers contribute stories from 23+ countries and regions.
Tim specializes in writing about political and military developments worldwide; and maintains that the label 'terrorist' is ill placed in many cases; specifically with the LTTE Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, where it was used as an excuse to slaughter people by the tens of thousands; and in Gaza, where a trapped population lives at the mercy of Israel's destructive military war crime grinder. At the center of all of this, Tim pays extremely close attention to the safety and welfare of journalists worldwide. You can write to Tim at this address: email@example.com. Visit Tim's Facebook page (facebook.com/TimKing.Reporter)
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